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El Camino Ends Volleyball's Perfect SCC Run

El Camino Ends Volleyball's Perfect SCC Run image

One streak snapped deserves another. Or at least it was payback time for state No. 14-ranked El Camino College when the host Warriors upset the No. 9 Pasadena City College women's volleyball team, 25-19, 25-22, 16-25, 25-23, Wednesday. El Camino prevented the Lancers from clinching the South Coast Conference title, ending PCC's 13-match conference winning streak dating back to last year.

With two matches for each team left to be played, El Camino moved into a first place tie with Pasadena at 11-1 in the SCC. PCC had ended an impressive 32-match conference win streak by El Camino on Oct. 12 in four games, which was also the last time the Lancers had even lost a set. Pasadena won 19 straight sets, including six consecutive sweeps, before being tripped up by ECC.

The Lancers (17-4) couldn't overcome 11 unforced errors in the opening set and a few other non-statistical mistakes on serve receives that became easy free balls as El Camino grabbed set one. PCC led 12-6, but fell behind for the last time at 17-16 on a kill by Suekalano Tafao.

In game 2, PCC led 7-4, but an 8-1 El Camino run would catapult the Warriors in that set. PCC's hitting attack took a holiday, making 10 attack errors (hit .050 in 40 attempts) and going a 13-point stretch in which it did not record a single kill.

In set 3, the Lancers resembled the team that has been ranked among the top 10 in the state for most of the year. PCC slammed 16 kills, but were carried by the hot hands of setter Kailey Faust, who dished out 14 assists, dropped two dump kills herself, and delivered four of her match-high five aces on serves. Faust finished with a season-high 45 assists and added six digs.

In game 4, the most intense of the match, El Camino's fan support, made up mostly by the college's baseball team, got loud and roared on every point. PCC took an early 3-2 lead on three powerful kills by middle blocker Jackie Valle-Acosta. ECC would take a 5-4 lead and hold on to that advantage at 21-18.

At that point, Lancers' outside hitter Nora To'omalatai made a fantastic solo block off an attempt by ECC's All-State hitter Tarryn Luafalemana. The play sparked the Lancers, who then tied it at 21-21 all on kills by Valle-Acosta and outside hitter Viridiana Gallardo. Another Valle-Acosta kill tied it again at 22-22 before Luafalemana powered a kill. PCC middle blocker Megan Callen's final attempt was pushed wide of the sideline for match point, capping El Camino's victory.

"When we play El Camino at our place, it's loud and it's because our football team and some of the other PCC teams come out to root us on," said PCC head coach Tammy Silva. "El Camino did the same at its gym, and it made a difference. We seemed rattled at times. We made so many mistakes, inexcusable errors that put us in a hole. Give El Camino credit for outplaying us on defense and passing. ECC's coach LeValley Pattison is one of the best in the business and she had her team well-prepared."

Valle-Acosta led the Lancers with 13 kills, hit .409, and added four blocks, three solos. Callen made 11 kills and two blocks. Overall, PCC made 40 statistical errors that produced El Camino points, 23 on attack mistakes. El Camino was paced by Luafalemana's 16 kills and a strong net presence by Nigeria Owens with nine kills and three blocks.

PCC is still in prime position to win at least a share of the SCC title. The Lancers travel to face Cerritos on Friday, Nov. 9 before playing their home conference finale on Wednesday, Nov. 14 against No. 16 Mt. San Antonio.

Mt. SAC, currently in second place in the SCC at 10-2, hosts El Camino tonight in a pivotal match. If the Mounties beat El Camino, PCC would once again be in sole possession of first. A win over Mt. SAC on the final day would give the Lancers the SCC title.  If ECC wins and defeats novice Los Angeles Trade Tech next week, the Lancers would need victories in their last two matches to tie the Warriors for the league championship. Mt. SAC could conceivably cause a 3-way tie for the title if it were to upset both El Camino and Pasadena with all three teams finishing at 12-2. If El Camino defeats Mt. SAC and PCC loses to Mt. SAC, El Camino would win the title outright.

PCC's only conference title in the college's history in the sport was won in 2009 under Silva, in her sixth season in charge of the Lancers.

[Photo--Kailey Faust dives to make a dig during PCC's 4-set loss at El Camino College Wednesday evening, image by Richard Quinton, sports information photographer.]

Release Date: 11/08/12
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
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